Councillor apologises for "racist joke accident"

Coun. Rosemary Carroll
Coun. Rosemary Carroll
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The former Mayor of Pendle, recently accused of sharing a racist joke on Facebook, has said she had intended to delete it.

Tory Earby Coun. Rosemary Carroll has released a statement apologising for her actions, which have led to calls for her resignation.

The councillor also said she was "disappointed" that the leader of Pendle Borough Council, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, had made a formal complaint against her.

He has repeated his call for her to resign, saying she has brought the council into disrepute.

Coun. Carroll said: "I would like to make it clear that I was not the author of the Facebook post. I do not go on Facebook much, in fact it is very rare that I use it.

"However I accidentally shared the post without knowing. I thought I was deleting it. I am utterly distraught at how I could do this. I am not a racist in any shape or form, and I would like to sincerely apologise to anyone if I have hurt their feelings.

"I realise that the public expects elected members to uphold standards in public life. On this occasion it was a slip up and I hope that this very sincere apology will be accepted.

"I would also like to say that if I were an alleged racist I would not have gone to various Asian events when I was Mayor. I could have excused myself from attending.

"Also I am very disappointed that Coun. Iqbal, as leader of the council and a long standing colleague, did not speak to me first for an explanation before making a formal complaint."

However, Coun. Iqbal has refuted her explanation.

He said: "Coun. Carroll's actions are inexcusable. Her actions have done great damage to the council. She quite clearly read the so-called joke and left it on her Facebook page for some time. I don't accept her explanation that she meant to delete it, and I repeat my calls for her to resign."